Monday, July 24, 2006

Distractions

I was reading in my devotions this morning:

"You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall."
- 2 Samuel 22:29-30
and I noticed how beautiful the verse is.

Looking at different versions of the Bible paints a beautiful and wise pictures when taken together. When I was a teenager I used the NASV, NIV and KJV all versions of the Bible to preach from. Since I was in the Independent Baptist world as a child, a majority of people used the KJV. When I would get up to preach and present the scriptures I used a blend of knowledge and pictures gained from all these versions of the Bible.

At the end of preaching some people would come up to me and imply some vast knowledge of the scriptures based upon my insight, when in fact the different version presented a beautiful picture just waiting to be discovered by anyone. Not that I did any of the work. I know that God imparted knowledge of what to preach and controlled the very words from my mouth to allow His message out to those who were to listen.

Then there are the "others." Those that would miss the message because I didin't use the KJV to preach from. Those that would be so distracted that the NIV was used to read from in the congregation that the rest of the message would go unnoticed. The message that they were going to hear was lost in their trained hatred for something many of them do not understand.

I know how they feel, I too get angry over the versions of the Bible. Angry over the fact that pastor's keep their congregation in the dark over the beuty of God's Word. Angy over the fact that many churches just side step around an issue rather than take a stand.

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou
wert cold or hot."
Revelations 3:15
I don't care if you don't believe me, just take a stand on something! None of this KJV preferred or only the KJV in the pulpit but they won't come out and say they are really KJV only. Yes I get mad. But now looking at it today, I see it as just a distraction.

Distraction ... the things that pull us from God's word

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, "
Hebrews 12:1 (Emphasis mine)

Distraction from the message of God's word in any form becomes a sin to us. I am guilty of allowing my anger over inaccurate preaching and misleading by the local shepherd of allowing myself to be distracted from the Word of God, the message I am to hear and sadly the message I am even to deliver.

Now I want to be angry with myself again. Angry because in this pursuit of Holiness I have failed, miserably. Yet the last part of that verse teaches me to be "run with patience." !Ah the distractions!

"Today, Lord, let me have patience with myself and others as we run, stumbling and bumbling to the same goal. Keep me from distraction, free of worldly weights and free from sin in my life. Let me recognize You and Your work in all things."

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